This is the good ship lifestyle
All my friends jumped ship
I elect me the captain
This is the loneliest voyage
I've ever been on
Up in the crow's nest
Over there! I see land!
First mate? There is no first mate
This is the good ship lifestyle
Sail away from the world
Sail away from the world
So steer a course
A course for nowhere
And drop the anchor
My little empire
I'm going nowhere
This is the good ship lifestyle
I'm going nowhere
This is the good ship lifestyle
I'm going nowhere
This is the good ship lifestyle
I fly my very own flag
TV dinners for one
At the captain's table
Repel all boarders
Draw the curtains tighter
Where's the crew? There is no crew
This is the good ship lifestyle
(Repeat chorus)

Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

The Good Ship Lifestyle Lyrics as written by Allen Whalley Alice Nutter

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Good Ship Lifestyle song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThis is the text for this song that was ommitted from the North American version of the "Tubthumper" CD:

    "Lifestylism" is the practise of wrapping yourself in a blinkered, self-perfecting, idealogically-sound cocoon. The captain of The Good Ship Lifestyle rarely leaves his bedroom. He makes pronouncements on how other people should live but doesn't keep his own rules. His idea of politics is not to Fight The Power but to fight the imagined enemies on his own side...

    "Nothing like the cocoon of unreality when your life's fucked."
    --Answer Me! Magazine

    "If someone gives me a forum to express myself, I will use it. If that means using 'mainstream' channels to do it, then that's all for the better. If you really believe in what you're doing, then why not? By being too cool to publicly talk about these things, we only perpetuate the silence that already exists."
    --Outpunk (taken from Zines, RE SEARCH)

    Stalin, Kruschev and Brezhnev are travelling on a train. The train breaks down. 'Fix it!', orders Stalin. They repair it but still the train doesn't move. 'Shoot everyone!' orders Stalin. They shoot everyone but still the train doesn't budge. Stalin dies. 'Rehabilitate everyone!' orders Kruschev. They are rehabilitated, but still the train won't go. Kruschev is removed. 'Close the curtains,' orders Brezhnev, 'and pretend we're moving!' Anon

    "Most plans for creating a more just society focus on ameliorating human misery. They address unemployment, hunger, illiteracy, class-based inequity, unequal access to medical care, pollution, overpopulation and discrimination based on sex, race, age, or membership in other devalued groups. While I care about all of those problems, I also wonder why so many of the proposed solutions make me shudder with dread. Perhaps it's because people who take on such enormous political chores are usually suffering from burnout. There's no room in their brave new worlds for fun, creativity, ornamentation, play and desire. I am sceptical of utopian schemes that don't take into account the human need for adventure, risk, competition, self-display, pleasurable stimulation, and novelty. In fact, many theoretical utopias are dreamed up by people who are afraid of diversity and deeply conservative about sex. ... The first duty of a revolutionary may be, as Abbie Hoffman said, to survive. But it's pretty difficult to survive without the nurturance of an all-consuming fantasy about where you are headed and what all this hard work is for."
    --Pat Califia from 'Public Sex - The Culture of Radical Sex'

    "Consistency is highly over valued. don't be afraid to change your mind for fear of being branded an inconsistent hypocrite."
    --From Splatterspleen, quoted in Zines, RE SEARCH

    "Waves do not actually travel, in spite of appearances. The water only moves up and down; it is the force that travels. The simplest way to demonstrate this is to throw a stone into a pond with a paper boat in it... Although the waves appear to travel outwards, the boat merely bobs up and down."

    "A worrying development among some committed political activists is their insufferable righteousness. These zealous politicos appear as nothing but fundamentalists in a religious quest, where self-made rules become doctrine and other, less worthy activists are cast out. Born again in the fire of insecurity and guilt, these people create a heaven where none but themselves truly keep the faith... a world of rigid doctrine and self-imposed commandments. And in time, these political fundamentalists take on the aspects of church clergy: Indolence, pride, superstition, bigotry, persecution and ignorance."
    --From 'Educating Us About You', 1996

    "What's the difference between a lifestylist and a supermarket trolley? - A supermarket trolley has a mind of it's own."

    "In our fear to make an effort to tear ourselves away from the conditions which ruin us, only because the future is not quite certain to us, we resemble the passengers of a sinking ship, who, for fear of stepping into a boat which is to take them to the shore, retreat to their cabins and refuse to come out from them..."
    --Leo Tolstoy

    "The policeman on patrol has got inside our heads and his attitudes continue to be reinforced by the values of a police-loving society."
    --Class War, from 'No Justice, Just Us' 1997

    "Revolution will be built on the spread of ideas and information, on reaching people, rather than on our habit of creating ghettoes within which to stagnate. It's no use standing outside shouting. We have to start kicking down the doors!"
    --From sleevenotes to first Chumbawamba single, 1985
    king nothing2on April 15, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think its just having a good time when you're all alone.
    "I fly my very own flag
    TV dinners for one
    At the captain's table "

    Kinda like a anti-depression anthem.
    Saying how even if you're all alone,
    it doesn't mean you can't have fun.
    ProjectShadowson February 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNeither of the last two comments seem to be on. This seems to be a satirical criticism of superficial living.
    Thunderbolton November 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah i have no idea what king nothing2 was talking about... but i really like this song, i think hes saying how hes all alone and just feels like going somewhere, anywhere, nowhere just because he can... its awesome im happy i rediscovered this cd its good stuff
    finchptsstw58on December 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThunderbolt and (king nothing2, even if his quotes are a bit all over the place) strike me as mostly right. This song is aimed as a dagger to the hearts of those of us whose nature leads us to mistake detachment for boldness, and it draws serious blood. It's far harder to be engaged in the problems of the world than to fall into a pattern of guiltless hedonism, but at the end of the day, "TV dinners for one at the captain's table" probably aren't going to satisfy.
    raffishtenant2on May 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti wish i had a list of all the (what i believe to be) names of the boats before and after the song.

    anyways i believe this song is about a sailor who has gone mad or he wants to get away from the troubles of everyday life. he is "sailing away from the world" which could be losing touch with reality or escaping everyday life in order to be his own captain and wanting to make his own decisions. and he has no predetermined destination "i'm going nowhere."

    after seeing pirates of the caribbean this reminds me of jack sparrow.
    devilboundon May 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBoy you people need to do more research. King Nothing was quoting stuff from the booklet in the UK version of the album that got left out of the US version due to copyrights or something. He even says that in the first sentence of his post! Jeez...*rolls eyes*

    Oh yeah, this is a good song and stuff. I like how it starts rocking out at "So steer a course, a course for nowhere..."
    Amaya-chanon October 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTo me the song illustrates a person playing a MMORPG all night and day with the curtains closed and the TV-dinners spread all around his/her desk.

    He's built his little empire and lost his social connections in the process.

    It's fun even if he/she steers a course to nowhere, even if it's just to pass the time or to suppress something bad that's happened.

    It doesn't have to be more complicated than that.
    Wrimon January 24, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is - as many other Chumbawamba texts - about not doing as society orders you to, but do what YOU think is right. About how socially appraised lifestyles are not always right. It's also a bash towards the people just doing what their surrounding people or societies do. I don't see it to be about bashing mainstream society as such, but more about trying to get people to act according to their own believes.

    The teller is "the captain of his ship", "without a crew" and are "repelling all boarders". He's doing what he think is right even though society is trying to steer him away from it (board his ship and force him to change course).

    This quote, which King Nothing 2 posted from the cover texts needs a comment as well:

    "In our fear to make an effort to tear ourselves away from the conditions which ruin us, only because the future is not quite certain to us, we resemble the passengers of a sinking ship, who, for fear of stepping into a boat which is to take them to the shore, retreat to their cabins and refuse to come out from them..."
    --Leo Tolstoy

    This is such an important quote in today's society; especially in Europe where fear of change and hatred towards foreiners are growing rapidly. The majority does not dare to do what's right and instead they lock themselves in their houses with their flat screen TVs. Instead of taking political responsability, people vote for parties (BNP? I'm from Denmark, where we have an equivelant to BNP in Danish folk Party - those pricks) who tries to fight the globalization and ignore the global responsabilties we all have. The latest law is the new Bill in UK posing that the government have the right to disconnect households from the internet if they are accused (accused, not sentenced) to be breaking copyright laws.

    This damned course towards the edge of the world will only change, if people dare to do what they think is right instead of living with their heads up their ... and ignore global problems; be it hunger, environment, war, religous conlicts etc. It will only change, if we elect ourselves as captains.
    PeteDKon April 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song shouts loudly of a frustrated early stage depression. The protagonist has lost or driven away his friends and intimate life partner (first mate). A ship is often used as a metaphor for life where the conditions abaord can represent the conditions of life and/or consequences of ones actions. The person is cynically defiant in his loneliness (i am the captain... fly my "very own" flag). The reference to TV dinners for one is self-deprecating. Eating in a place of honor at the captain's table but in such a lonely and meager way. He feels he is going nowhere and now just wants to withdraw socially and be left alone (repel all boarders, close the curtains). The author leaves us with the image of an unhappy person in a boat, alone, at anchor., turning away friends and family out of his defiant despair as if to say, "Fuck you, world! . I think hink the sadest part of this story is at the beginning, the protagonist feels as though he was finally abandoned by his partner (mate). Friends (crew) left him or were driven off and then finally his spouse or significant other. Just as he felt he was close to a solution to his problems (he sees land!) he turns to his mate only to find she had left him, too. To me this song clearly describes the onset of classic clincal depression. Been there, done that. It rings it as clear as a bell.
    Imgonnamakeiton May 31, 2017   Link

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